Wrestling Federation of India to launch world's richest pro wrestling league

Jan. 22, 2014, 11:51 a.m. (ET)
Photos of World champion and Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar of India taken by Larry Slater.

• Wrestling Federation of India & Commercial Partners Sporty Solutionz announce the IWL
• Up for grabs will be $3.5 million for wrestlers in auction and prize money
• IWL will offer the richest prize-money in the history of wrestling
• Six-city-based franchise to compete in the first edition of IWL
• IWL will feature both men and women wrestlers in an unique and innovative format

January 21, 2014, New Delhi: The Wrestling Federation of India and their Commercial Partner, Sporty Solutionz (P) Ltd, announced the launch of the biggest pro wrestling league in the world, the Indian Wrestling League, here on Tuesday.

The inaugural edition of the IWL will feature six city-based franchise teams who will be vying for the biggest winning cheque in the sport of wrestling. The IWL will offer $3.5 million to wrestlers in auction and prize money, thus, making it the richest tournament in the history of wrestling, which has featured in all the editions of the modern Olympic Games with the exception of the 1900 Olympics Games.

The six IWL cities in the inaugural year will be shortlisted out of eight cities in the fray, namely – Delhi, Mohali (Punjab), Hisar (Haryana), Pune or Mumbai (Maharashtra), Lucknow (UP), Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Kolkata (West Bengal).

The IWL will be held under the aegis of WFI and as per the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) rules. The League will feature both men and women wrestlers competing in a team format for the first time in the sport of wrestling. The IWL match will be broadcast LIVE to more than 120 million viewers across the globe.

On this occasion, Wrestling Federation of India President and MP, Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, said, “Indian wrestling has a great tradition and our wrestlers are today winning medals at the Olympics and World Championships. It’s a great sport and has the innate quality to evolve with times. We are extremely pleased to announce the formation of the Indian Wrestling League, which, we hope, will further boost the popularity of the sport in the country and attract support from the corporate and entertainment sector.”

IWL Executive Committee Chairman Mr GS Mander said, “We are extremely pleased to present the IWL to the wrestling-loving people in India and abroad. The IWL will be a unique concept and has the potential of attracting a large fan base for wrestling across the country given the presence of the best of national and international talent. The IWL will bring an exciting format and induce glamour quotient to make the sport more attractive and grab more viewership globally.”

Commenting on this association, CEO, Sporty Solutionz (P) Ltd., Mr. Ashish Chadha, said, “We see a lot of value and scope for wrestling in the country. Wrestling has a huge following in rural India and we hope the IWL will succeed in translating the craze into the cities as well. We strongly believe that Indian sports aficianados would love to consume wrestling as well if the product is packaged well, communicated and presented in an interesting manner.” Sporty Solutionz are also the Commercial owners of the biggest prize-money tournament in badminton, the Indian Badminton League.

The 2014 IWL will feature six franchises and run for 18 days. Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the League will showcase a grand total of 168 bouts, providing broadcasters and in-stadia spectators with more than 100 hours of LIVE “family entertainment” which will also be viewed by a significant international audience. The matches will be held during late afternoon and evening to coincide with prime time television and providing a convenient time for the stadium audience. The LIVE IN-stadia entertainment, combined with high-octane on-ring action is expected to further hook viewers onto this new adrenalin packed LIVE family entertainment format attracting a much younger fan base, which also includes children and women.

About Sporty Solutionz Pvt Ltd:
Sporty Solutionz Pvt Ltd are also the Commercial Partner for the Indian Badminton League. The company is India’s leading Sports Marketing and Media Rights Management Company, and has been associated with almost all the premier sporting events in India like the IPL, Euro 2012, Sri Lanka Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League, FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches etc. Based in Noida (Delhi NCR), Sporty Solutionz also specialises in Sports Production, Events, Talent Management & Sports PR & Press Operations.

Press Release from the Wrestling Federation of India